Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post. For your ears. Martine Powers is your host, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays by 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Gen Z leads LGBT shift
30:14Generation Z is breaking with binary notions of gender and sexuality. And, how the first season of “The Bachelor” to feature a Black man has only highlighted the show’s racism problem. Read more:Recent surveys show that a growing percentage of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT. What’s less clear is why. Is it because of a real shift in sexual orientation and gender identity? Or is it because of a greater willingness among young people to identify as LGBT? Samantha Schmidt reports. The “Bachelor” franchise is facing a public reckoning after revelations about a contestant’s racist past. Style reporter Emily Yahr and Vulture writer Ali Barthwell explain what happened, and what this episode can tell us about Bachelor Nation and reality television as a whole.The pandemic has been dragging on for almost a year now, and we want to hear from listeners about how you’re coping. Record a voice memo telling us who you are, where you live and what you’ve been doing in the past year to find joy. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biden’s Middle East woes
25:47The U.S. intelligence report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is finally released. And, how Donald Trump took a wrecking ball to U.S. relations in the Mideast, and whether President Biden will be able to recalibrate foreign policy in the region.Read more:The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, approved the operation that led to the death of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi. National security reporter Karen DeYoung explains what we know from the long-awaited intelligence report. Foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor discusses the Mideast problems piling up for Biden, and whether the new administration will be able to accomplish its ambitious agenda in the region. “After four years of what's been perceived as kind of wrecking-ball diplomacy by Trump when it comes to the Middle East, it's a pretty thorny set of challenges that await President Biden, having to both think through what these challenges mean for his American interests, but also having to undo some of the work that Trump did,” Tharoor says.The pandemic has been dragging on for almost a year now, and we want to hear from listeners about how you’re coping. Record a voice memo telling us who you are, where you live and what you’ve been doing in the last year to find joy. Send it to email@example.com.
The violence rattling Asian Americans
20:38Asian American communities are bracing themselves against an increase of violent assaults, leaving the marginalized group feeling under attack and isolated. Read more:Attacks against Asian Americans are surging. While data is scant, the numbers in New York City and San Francisco — cities with large, long established Asian American communities — are up. Racially motivated attacks are chronically underreported, reporter Marian Liu says. “On top of that, there's a high threshold to proving what a hate crime is.” Liu spoke with Post Reports senior producer Reena Flores about the recent string of viral videos showing violence against elderly Asian Americans and how those attacks have left people in the minority group fearful. “The community has been left feeling very isolated.” Liu says. “They had to report this on their own, create their own database. And many have taken to patrolling their own streets —like people are patrolling Chinatown on their own.” About US is an initiative by The Washington Post to cover issues of identity in the United States. Sign up for the newsletter.
A balancing act in Honduras
22:12As President Biden seeks to reset immigration policy, uncertainty surrounds the U.S. relationship with Honduras and its president, Juan Orlando Hernández, who is implicated in drug trafficking. Read more:For four years, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández built his governing program around the demands of the Trump administration, which in turn stayed out of Honduras’s domestic affairs. Now, that arrangement is ending, and Hernández is finding himself in a precarious position as the United States pivots from one administration to another. Mexico City bureau chief Kevin Sieff spent a week with Hernández and his team. He spoke with producer Alexis Diao about that surreal week, and how the biggest threat to Hernández could be an extradition treaty he pushed through himself.Subscribe to The Washington Post: postreports.com/offer
Will a minimum-wage hike save the economy?
19:06Behind the fight over raising the minimum wage — and why the Senate parliamentarian is at the center of it. Plus, boomers embrace online shopping. Read more:President Biden’s push to increase the federal minimum wage is facing significant hurdles in Congress, opposed by skeptical Republicans, centrist Democrats and many business owners. Labor reporter Eli Rosenberg lays out the cases for and against the policy as a tool of financial relief during the pandemic.Obscure Senate procedures are also complicating the issue. Post producer Arjun Singh and lawyer Jonathan Gould explain the role of the Senate parliamentarian in deciding whether Democrats can squeeze a federal minimum-wage hike into a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package using the budget reconciliation process. Older Americans are increasing buying groceries — and just about everything else — on the Internet. Abha Bhattarai unpacks boomers’ growing tech savvy. Subscribe to The Washington Post: postreports.com/offer
An apolitical Justice Department?
22:59Merrick Garland’s plans for the Department of Justice. And, another push to provide pandemic loans to small businesses.Read more:President Biden has vowed to remake the Department of Justice, placing a greater emphasis on promoting racial justice, criminal justice reform, and investigating and rooting out domestic terrorism. His nominee for U.S. attorney general, Merrick Garland, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Matt Zapotosky reports. Business reporter Aaron Gregg explains the change in coronavirus relief that could help more mom-and-pop businesses survive the pandemic.Subscribe to The Washington Post: https://postreports.com/offer
Pregnancy, coronavirus vaccines and a difficult choice
23:36Pregnant people and their babies face severe risks if they get infected with the coronavirus. Newly available vaccines could be a source of hope. But without good data, many pregnant people are agonizing over whether the shots are right for them.Read more:As vaccines become more widely available, many pregnant people are being asked to decide whether they’re ready to trust and receive a shot. For some, that decision could be the difference between life and death. False claims tying vaccines to infertility are driving doubts among women of childbearing age. Health officials worry their hesitation may affect efforts to reach immunization targets.If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to postreports.com/offer.
Why so many Texans still don't have water
21:58Most Texans are finally getting their power back, but millions of people are still without water as the crisis escalates in the storm-ravaged state. And why coronavirus cases are finally dropping in the United States.Read more:Although most Texans have finally had their power restored, millions of people are now facing a water crisis because of cracked pipes and knocked out water-treatment plants. Arelis Hernández reports from San Antonio.The rate of newly recorded coronavirus infections is plummeting from coast to coast and the worst surge yet is finally relenting. Writer Reis Thebault on why covid-19 cases are dropping.
The rise and fall of Philly’s mass vaccination clinic
19:16Philadelphia’s first mass vaccination site looked like a model of 21st-century efficiency — until the city abruptly shut it down after losing trust in the group that ran it. Plus, how the pandemic has led some men to realize they need deeper friendships. Read more:A mass vaccination clinic in Philadelphia opened with fanfare but closed amid rifts of trust. Frances Stead Sellers explains the swift rise and fall of Philly Fighting Covid. No game days. No bars. Samantha Schmidt reports on how the pandemic is making some men realize they need deeper friendships.
The lone grid state
22:26Understanding the freezing weather sweeping across the United States — and why Texas’s independent power grid was doomed to fail in its wake. Plus, NASA tries to land a car on Mars. Read more: At least 14 people are dead in four states after a record-breaking cold snap swept through parts of the United States. Meteorologist Matthew Cappucci explains the science behind the freezing temperatures — and why the country might be bracing for more. Will Englund reports on how the Texas power grid got crushed because its operators weren’t prepared. NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, could be in for a bumpy landing Thursday. But if it survives the “seven minutes of terror,” Perseverance could hold the key to future exploration of the Red Planet.